Continuing to leave our nets behind

Growing up on a farm that had been in my family for several generations on the south coast of NSW, my brothers and I were aware of the desire that my father had that one of us would continue the tradition and farm the land. Once we had each moved away to study and...

John the witness as humble evangelist

In the Gospel of John, like in the other gospels as well, the figure of John the Baptizer is deeply significant. But here in this gospel, the story and witness of John is interwoven into the magnificent 18 verse prologue. The first section of the gospel then moves...

My child in whom I delight

The transition from the season of Christmas and the gathering around the manger scene to the arrival of the Magi to this feast of the Baptism of the Lord and the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus is a rapid one. We meet the adult Jesus who is presented as the...

Epiphany – the nativity in the Gospel of Matthew

So we arrive at the feast of the Epiphany and the customary three wise men make their way from their hiding place elsewhere on the sanctuary or in the sacristy to their appointed places in the manger nativity scene, joining the shepherds, angels and animals in...

The doubt and faith of Abraham

As we reflect on the place of family this Sunday, the liturgy offers us the example of four very different yet faithful people in the Gospel of Luke in Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna. The other readings provide us with the foundational example of faith in Abram and...

God has drawn near in love

  I love technology. I love the fact that Google Maps is able to navigate you around traffic snarls – often allowing you to take the exit just before all the traffic has built up on the motorway. So cool! I was in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago for a...

Mary and Gabriel

The scene that is presented in the Gospel today is one of my favourites. We read from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verses 26-38. The angel Gabriel appears to announce the birth of a child and follows the pattern established in the Hebrew Scriptures: the angel says,...

Rejoice always and pray constantly

When you learn a new language one of the things that you need to become familiar with are the rules of grammar and syntax. But the degree to which you have to continue to remember each of the rules in turn is an indication that you haven’t yet become fluent in...

Beginning of good news in the desert

As we enter the second Sunday in the season of Advent, we come to the beginning of the Gospel of Mark. The opening line of his Gospel is somewhat curious – it isn’t immediately obvious if it is meant to be a heading or simply the first line. It richly...

The longing of Advent

As we begin this new liturgical year and return in Year B to the Gospel of Mark, it is a little odd that we don’t begin with the opening lines of the Gospel. Surely we should be reading from the Infancy Narratives in Mark. Oh wait – there aren’t any....

Good goats did it for me

Justice is something that we learn very early as children. We have this strong instinct for when something doesn’t just seem to be fair. Perhaps as a result, justice is one of the most profound longings of the human race. When there is no justice, then we know that...

Sharing Talents

The parable of the talents has a number of unusual qualities. Unlike most of the parables, which seem to be aimed at farmers and fishers and other country folk, this parable is aimed at people who are familiar with the workings of a market economy. So while it was...

The dedication of the Lateran Basilica

It is rare for a feast day to bump-off the Sunday liturgy – usually only the feast days and solemnities of the Lord or of our Lady (but only during Ordinary Time) – but today the dedication of a basilica in the city of Rome from back in the fourth century...

Perfected in the paradise of purgatory (All Souls Day)

When discussion turns to the last things – heaven, hell and purgatory – I am amazed how much of the discussion of such crucial questions in church circles is so muddy. We are talking about the destination for eternity – which most people know means a...

Proclamation, Worship and Compassion as the heart of the Church

Sometimes it can be helpful to return to first principles and ponder more deeply about the purpose and deepest nature of things like the Church. Thankfully our readings today provide us with this opportunity. After the Second Vatican Council, reflection upon the...
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